The Pacific white sided dolphin has a very robust body, with a stubby beak and black lips. Their flippers are often a greyish white color with rounded tips.
As their name suggests, they have a greyish thoracic patch which extends down their sides to just below the dorsal fin. They are medium sized dolphins reaching up to 8 feet in length. Overall, these dolphins tend to be dark grey or black in color.
Pacific white sided dolphins are extremely social and agile. Typically these dolphins travel in groups of tens or hundreds of individuals, but have been seen traveling in groups of up to 2,000 or more individuals. They enjoy leaping out of the water performing flips, spins, somersaults, and often porpoising at high speeds. These dolphins are often seen swimming beside Northern right whale dolphins and Risso's dolphins.
Pacific white sided dolphins are found in cold, temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean from North America to Asia. Although not much is known about how they mate, scientists believe that the females give birth every other year, with gestation lasting about 12 months. Newborn calves are an average of 3 feet in length. Calves will nurse for approximately 6 months and most births occur from April to August.
Photo: Carla Mitroff (@cmitroff)